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Scientists discover tarantula with a bizarre horn on his back

Spider expert Ian Enelbrecht photographed this detail of the remaining corner found on C. attonitifer.

Ian Enelbrecht

Excuse me, your nightmares want to have a word with you.

Please take a moment and greet Ceratogyrus attonitifer, a spider named for a species derived from the Latin root for astonishment. Because that's how astonished the scientists who found it.

The new tarantula in science sports a horn similar to a corner. Scientists from the National Geographic Project Okavango Wilderness discovered it in Angola, Africa, in exploring biodiversity in the region.

Ceratogyrus attonitifer is a type of horned baboon, but its prominent soft horn is very unusual. The team described tarantula in a paper published this month in the African Invertebrates magazine. "No other spider in the world has a similar foveal tap," researchers say.

Spiders are poisonous and want to eat insects. "The veil is not considered dangerous, but the bite can result in infections that may be fatal due to poor medical access," the article writes.

C. attonitifer may look scary or terrifying in people who are afraid of spiders, but it is an eye-opener for arachnologists. Scientists hope that further study of the mysterious spider will give you more insight into the extent of its span.

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